Coats Design

Coats Design Journal

Manaaki – Made by (and created by) the Aunties

Coats has had a great journey with Omaka Marae – partnering with the team to create the Manaaki brand of condiments and preserves which introduce traditional Maori recipes to the modern consumer.

Early in the design stage, the idea of introducing the ‘Aunties’ of the Marae as the hero of the brand was brainstormed. 'Made by the Aunties' became the brand streamline, underpinning the core idea and principles of the what Manaaki stands for. During the packaging design development stage, we took this idea one step further, engaging one of the Aunties at the Marae – Tineka Smith – to create the handwritten typography for the products. Tinekas' work lends unique provenance and personal ownership to the labels, giving a subtle nod to the handmade contents in each jar.

Tinkea Smith - Manaaki Aunty

Execution of typography, illustrations and photography is pivotal, translating what were previously rough sketches, concepts and mood boards into commissioned works. The fact that we could craft this typography 'with' the client is a testament to how the Manaaki packaging development held on to the core values of engaging the Marae family and pride in the products.

After launching the products at various markets and trade stores, Manaaki is now starting to be picked up by the local Blenheim retail sector. A great start for a brand with so much mana.       


Manaaki Handwriting

Find out more about the Manaaki brand and packaging project.

Dan Legget